What's on TV: 'Voltron,' 'Sharknado 5' and 'Wet Hot American Summer'

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This week is a big one for Netflix, although bigger releases like The Defenders are still waiting for later in August. This week we’ll see season three of Voltron: Legendary Defender, as well as season two of Wet Hot American Summer. Syfy is back with its fifth Sharknado movie and DirecTV has the series finale of Kingdom. For gamers, The Long Dark is officially launching while TBS airs Road to the International Dota 2 Championships, and tech paranoia flick The Circle is available on Blu-ray. Look after the break to check out each day’s highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).

Blu-ray & Games & Streaming

  • Alien: Covenant (VOD)
  • The Circle
  • The Fog
  • Slither
  • They Live
  • Going in Style
  • The Machinist
  • Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun (PS4, Xbox One)
  • White Day: A Labyrinth Named Schoo (PS4)
  • Dino Frontier (PSVR)
  • The Long Dark (PS4, PC, Xbox One)
  • CastleStorm VR (PSVR)
  • Tacoma (PC, Xbox One)
  • Slime Rancher (Xbox One, PC)
  • Slime-san (Switch)
  • Aven Colony (PS4)
  • Drawfighters (PS4)
  • Frisky Business (PS4)
  • Patapon Remasters (PS4)
  • Oh… Sir! The Insult Simulator (Xbox One)


  • American Ninja Warrior, NBC, 8PM
  • So You Think You Can Dance, Fox, 8PM
  • WWE Raw, USA, 8PM
  • Preacher, AMC, 9PM
  • Will, TNT, 9PM
  • Stitchers, Freeform, 9PM
  • Superhuman (season finale), Fox, 9PM
  • CBSN: On assignment (series premiere), CBS, 10PM
  • Carspotting (series premiere), Discovery, 10PM
  • American Dad, TBS, 10PM
  • Midnight, Texas, NBC, 10PM
  • To Tell the Truth, ABC, 10PM
  • American Greed, CNBC, 10PM
  • Siesta Key (series premiere), MTV, 10PM
  • Midnight, Texas, NBC, 10PM
  • Desus & Mero, Viceland, 11PM


  • Maz Jobrani: Immigrant, Netflix, 3AM
  • Surviving Escobar: Alias JJ (S1), Netflix, 3AM
  • Casual (season finale), Hulu, 3AM
  • WWE Smackdown, USA, 8PM
  • America’s Got Talent, NBC, 8PM
  • The Fosters, Freeform, 8PM
  • The Challenge MTV, 9PM
  • Animal Kingdom, TNT, 9PM
  • The Bold Type, Freeform, 9PM
  • Face Off, Syfy, 9PM
  • Fantomworks, Velocity, 9PM
  • Somewhere Between, ABC, 10PM
  • Shooter, USA, 10PM
  • American Ripper, History, 10PM
  • Fear Factor, MTV, 10PM
  • Adam Ruins Everything, TruTV, 10PM
  • The Profit, CNBC, 10PM
  • Tosh.0, Comedy Central, 10PM
  • World of Dance, NBC, 10PM
  • Wrecked, TBS, 10:30PM
  • The Jim Jefferies Show, Comedy Central, 10:30PM
  • Desus & Mero, Viceland, 11PM


  • Big Brother, CBS, 8PM
  • Kingdom (series finale), DirecTV Audience, 8PM
  • Lucha Underground, El Rey, 8PM
  • Suits, USA, 9PM
  • Salvation, CBS, 9PM
  • Hood Adjacent with James Davis, Comedy Central, 9PM
  • The Carmichael Show, NBC, 9PM
  • Catfish, MTV, 9PM
  • Queen Sugar (summer finale), OWN, 10PM
  • Sinner (series premiere), USA, 10PM
  • I’m Sorry, TruTV, 10PM
  • Snowfall FX, 10PM
  • The Auto Firm with Alex Vega, Velocity, 10PM
  • Blood Drive, Syfy, 10PM
  • Younger, TV Land, 10PM
  • Cleverman (season finale), Sundance, 10PM
  • Broadchurch, BBC America, 10PM
  • Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, TBS, 10:30PM
  • Desus & Mero, Viceland, 11PM


  • NFL Hall of Fame Game: Cowboys vs. Cardinals, NBC, 8PM
  • Penn & Teller: Fool Us, CW, 8PM
  • Boy Band, ABC, 8PM
  • Beat Shazam, Fox, 8PM
  • Battle of the Network Stars, ABC, 9PM
  • Whose Line is it Anyway, CW, 9PM
  • Big Brother, CBS, 9PM
  • The Wall, NBC, 9PM
  • The Tunnel (season finale), PBS, 9PM
  • Date Night Live, Lifetime, 10PM
  • Akil the Fugitive Hunter, A&E, 10PM
  • Zoo, CBS, 10PM
  • The Mist, Spike TV, 10PM
  • The Night Shift, NBC, 10PM
  • The Gong Show, ABC, 10PM
  • Queen of the South, USA, 10PM
  • The Guest Book, TBS, 10PM
  • What Would Diplo Do? (series premiere), Viceland, 10PM
  • Nuts + Bolts (series premiere), Viceland, 10:30PM
  • The Chris Gethard Show (series premiere), TruTV, 11PM
  • Desus & Mero, Viceland, 11PM


  • Voltron: Legendary Defender (S3), Netflix, 3AM
  • Wet Hot American Summer (S2), Netflix, 3AM
  • Lost in Oz (S1), Amazon Prime, 3AM
  • Comrade Detective (S1), Amazon Prime, 3AM
  • Icarus, Netflix, 3AM
  • We Day, CBS, 8PM
  • Killjoys, Syfy, 8PM
  • Masters of Illusion, CW, 8PM
  • Dark Matter, Syfy, 9PM
  • Road to the International Dota 2 Championships, TBS, 10PM
  • All Access: Mayweather vs. McGregor, Showtime 10PM
  • Wynonna Earp, Syfy, 10PM
  • Room 104, HBO, 11:30PM


  • Doubt, CBS, 8PM
  • Turn, AMC, 9PM
  • Risk, Showtime 9PM
  • Orphan Black, BBC America, 10PM
  • George Lopez: The Wall, Live from Washington DC, HBO, 10PM


  • Sharknado 5: Global Swarming, Syfy, 8PM
  • Twin Peaks, Showtime, 8PM
  • Teen Wolf, MTV, 8PM
  • American Grit (season finale), Fox, 8PM
  • Top Gear America, BBC America, 8PM
  • Big Brother, CBS, 8PM
  • Celebrity Family Feud, ABC, 8PM
  • Sunday Night Baseball, ESPN, 8PM
  • Ray Donovan (season premiere), Starz, 9PM
  • Game of Thrones, HBO, 9PM
  • Candy Crush, CBS, 9PM
  • Power, Starz, 9PM
  • Claws, TNT, 9PM
  • American Grit, Fox, 9PM
  • The Nineties, CNN, 9PM
  • Steve Harvey’s Funderdome, ABC, 9PM
  • Ballers, HBO, 10PM
  • $100,000 Pyramid, ABC, 10PM
  • The Strain, FX, 10PM
  • I’m Dying Up Here, Showtime, 10PM
  • Unsung, TV One, 10PM
  • Insecure, HBO, 10:30PM
  • Talking with Chris Hardwick, AMC, 11PM
  • Legends of Chamberlain Heights, Comedy Central, 11:30PM
  • Rick & Morty, Cartoon Network, 11:30PM



Bloomberg: Spotify is planning another big podcast push

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Thomas Trutschel via Getty Images

Spotify started its new year getting into the podcast game when it announced it was bringing on its first original content in a trio of music-related shows. Then in March, it partnered with WNYC to bring its podcasts to the platform. While Apple still dominates the space, Spotify is steaming ahead with more podcast-focused advertising and original content: Sources told Bloomberg that a new batch of shows will launch in a few months.

Podcasts will get their own dedicated tab in the platform’s “browse” section, too, at some point. The company’s investment remains experimental, but it will begin a new campaign to lure in more listeners to its limited podcast offerings. In exchange for promoting certain shows within the Spotify app and on bus ads, the hosts of “Reply All,” “Pod Save America” and “The Bill Simmons Podcast” will promote the streaming service during episodes.

The reasons are mostly financial: Podcast ad revenue is expected to increase 85 percent this year to $220 million. As Bloomberg points out, 15 percent of Americans listen to podcasts weekly, while a quarter listen to at least one a month. Podcasts, as longer-form media than songs, might keep users around for longer sessions (ergo, more ad money) than a three-minute song. Plus, the streaming titan could get non-music content for a lower price, given that royalties to record labels made up an astonishing 75 percent of Spotify’s costs last year.



Another Apple rival will reportedly help build the iPhone in 2018

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Apple might compete with Samsung when it comes to selling smartphones, but the iPhone maker still depends on Samsung for supplies. In fact, Samsung is said to be the sole supplier of OLED displays for Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8, but according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, another competitor could soon join the cause as Apple looks to boost production and diversify its supply chain.

9to5Mac shared the details of a note from Kuo over the weekend, who believes that Apple is “committed to having LG Display geared up for its OLED iPhone display business in 2018.”

Samsung is now Apple’s sole iPhone OLED panel supplier across front- and back-end manufacturing. We think LGD could institute a similar production model. However, considering its strengths are in front-end process, collaborating with a specialized back-end process provider like GIS will, in our view, significantly boost iPhone OLED panel output rate.

Kuo claims that the OLED panel has given Apple more trouble than any other component, so having another supplier would ease some of the pressure on Samsung’s display unit. While the OLED panel will likely be limited to the iPhone 8 this year, Apple is reportedly set to bring the component to all of its feature phones in 2018, which might necessitate additional suppliers.

This isn’t the first we’ve heard about LG’s rumored plans to join the iPhone supply chain in 2018 either. Just last month, The Korea Economic Daily reported that LG Innotek is set to start mass-production of flexible printed circuit boards next year. OLED screens require these boards, suggesting that LG is prepared to ramp up OLED production if Apple taps its services in 2018.

Android apps can find nearby devices even when they're offline

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If you’ve ever wished that your smartphone’s apps would automatically do your bidding the moment you neared a device, you’re in luck. After previewing it at I/O in May, Google has made the second generation of its Nearby Connections toolkit available to Android developers. The updated framework uses Bluetooth and WiFi to find nearby devices, connect to them and perform tasks without requiring an internet connection. Your hotel room could auto-adjust the temperature the moment you walk in, Google suggests, while your phone could merge contacts whenever you’re close to your spouse.

The kit supports both mesh networks, where devices form an independent network on the spot, as well as a centralized connection where one device rules the roost. That’s particularly helpful in classrooms or meetings, where you’d want one device to take priority — say, a Jackbox-style party game where a host hands out trivia questions.

It’ll take a while for the new Nearby Connections to wend its way into the apps you use, but there are already companies who’ve had a head start. The Weather Channel is installing mesh networks in areas with poor internet access to help send weather warnings, Hotstar is offering offline media sharing and GameInsight will help you find and play people offline. And of course, Google has its own — an upcoming Android TV remote app will use Nearby Connections to get you started and turn on second-screen experiences while you’re watching shows. If more developers like the idea, this could quietly become one of Android’s more important assets, especially as smart homes take off.



Google just made scheduling work meetings a little easier

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There’s a little bit of good news for people juggling both Google G Suite tools and Microsoft Exchange for their schedule management at work. Google has released an update that will allow G Suite users to access coworkers’ real-time free/busy information through both Google Calendar’s Find a Time feature and Microsoft Outlook’s Scheduling Assistant interchangeably.

G Suite admins can enable the new Calendar Interop management feature through the Settings for Calendar option in the admin console. Admins will also be able to easily pinpoint issues with the setup via a troubleshooting tool, which will also provide suggestions for resolving those issues, and can track interoperability successes and failures for each user through logs Google has made available.

The new feature is available on Android, iOS and web versions of Google Calendar as well as desktop, mobile and web clients for Outlook 2010+, for admins who choose to enable it. Google says the full rollout should be completed within three days.



‘Titanfall 2’ arrives on EA’s PC and Xbox One subscription services

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Titanfall 2, the criminally underrated man-vs.-mech multiplayer game that reliably releases new free content nearly every month, is now available for subscribers of EA’s subscription services. Users on both EA Access on Xbox One and Origin Access on PC can play the game at no cost — which is perfect timing, since the game’s latest DLC introduced a new players-vs-computer horde mode that has likely reeled in a bunch of lapsed fans. Seriously, it’s a game where wallrunning players try to dodge enemies in gun-toting mechs — go play it already if you’ve already ponied up for EA’s unlimited gaming services.

Titanfall 2 enters the Vault, EA’s repository of games made freely available to Access subscribers. As Polygon notes, this is the first game in the slew of titles EA announced were headed to the Vault in coming months, so expect Battlefield 1 and trial versions of the publisher’s 2018 sports titles to hit before September ends.



Watchdog asks FTC to look into how Google collects shopping data

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Brian Snyder / Reuters

Back in May, Google introduced a new tool, “store sales measurement,” which tracks debit and credit card purchases in the real world. The company claimed it could help them prove that online ads directly lead to in-store purchases. But a privacy watchdog group isn’t comfortable with the vague safeguards the search giant put in place as it tracks buying habits, and has asked the FTC to investigate.

As written in its formal complaint to the FTC, the Electronic Privacy and Information Center (EPIC) is requesting the agency discover how Google’s tool connects online browsing with in-store shopping, which the search giant has kept secret. The company’s post introducing the tool back in May outlined its potential benefits to marketers, but not how it collects data; It did note that the tool’s methods “match transactions back to Google ads in a secure and privacy-safe way, and only report on aggregated and anonymized store sales to protect your customer data.”

But the complaint goes a step further. Google maintains that users can opt-out of the tool’s data collection by going to their account settings and toggling off “Web and App Activity.” But EPIC claims that’s a spurious assurance and outright deceptive trade practice because some users must also call their banking or credit institution, which might have its own third-party relationship feeding consumer purchasing data to Google. To that end, EPIC requests the FTC force Google to divulge all of its third-party partnerships, which the tech titan noted “capture approximately 70% of credit and debit card transactions in the United States” in the May blog post.

The FTC has its own FAQ page describing what rights users have when opting out.

Update: Google responded to our request for comment with this statement:

“We take privacy very seriously so it’s disappointing to see a number of inaccuracies in this complaint We invested in building industry-leading privacy protections before launching this solution. All data is encrypted and aggregated— we don’t share or receive any identifiable credit card data whatsoever.

Users have robust controls— we only use data that they’ve consented to have associated with their Web and App activity in their Google account, which users can opt-out of at any time. We are committed to constantly innovating and continuing to provide transparency to users on what data we collect and how we use it.”

Further, Google maintains that it doesn’t gather data on individual purchases, either product or amount, nor the specific identity of the buyer — just the aggregate value of several purchases. The company insists it doesn’t have any identifiable individual user’s credit card data from their partners, and since it’s encrypted when Google receives it from partners, cannot discern individual identities anyway. Germane to the complaint, the search giant says its tool doesn’t use location services nor does it use CryptDB — and it’s currently only operating in beta in the US>



Samsung hints how the Galaxy Note 8's dual camera will work

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It’s no secret that the Galaxy Note 8 will likely include dual rear cameras given all the leaks, but you don’t have to take the rumor mill’s word for it — Samsung appears to have dropped a not-so-subtle hint of its own. The company’s electromechanical division has posted a feature list for a dual camera module that lines up eerily well what’s expected from the Note 8’s rear sensors. To begin with, the second camera allows for 3X optical zoom, or a notch better than the 2X you see in the iPhone 7 Plus and OnePlus 5. If you’ve ever wanted to get a close-up shot at a concert using only your phone, this might be your handset of choice. And importantly, it’s not the only arrow in Samsung’s quiver.

There’s a depth-of-field effect, as you might guess, so it’s entirely possible that you’ll see an iPhone-style portrait mode as well as after-the-shot refocusing. However, Samsung is also promising that the module will improve image quality even in regular shots. The dual cameras enable brighter low-light shots when used in tandem, and “dual fusion” can expand the dynamic range of a photo to preserve details in highlights and shadows. There are a couple of more novelty-oriented features, too, such as a “background effect” (to blur the all but the center of a shot) and a “perspective view” (which tilts the image based on how you rotate your phone).

It’s possible that some of these software tricks won’t show up when Samsung unveils the Note 8 on August 23rd, but Samsung has a history of previewing components and features that are clearly destined for its next major smartphone. It would be more surprising these features didn’t appear. Either way, it’s likely that photography will be the Note 8’s biggest feature after its namesake pen.



Tech CEOs haven’t yet agreed to attend House net neutrality hearing

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Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee invited CEOs from Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, Netflix, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and Charter Communications to testify at an upcoming hearing about net neutrality and potential legislation regarding it. When the invitations were announced, committee chairman Greg Walden said, “With almost everyone in agreement about fundamental principles to prevent anti-competitive behavior such as throttling and blocking, I think we are closer than ever to achieving a lasting resolution. The time has come to get everyone to the table and get this figured out.”

But as Recode reports, none of those companies have agreed to show up at the hearing. The committee initially placed a July 31st deadline on the companies’ attendance decisions, but has decided to extend that indefinitely in hopes of getting the CEOs to agree to appear. “The committee has been engaging in productive conversations with all parties and will extend the deadline for response in order to allow for those discussions to continue,” a spokesperson told Recode.

This spotlight on tech CEOs is making some of them look like they’re all talk and no action. Many of their companies participated in the Day of Action earlier this month and in a statement Verizon released that day it said, “We respectfully suggest that real action will involve people coming together to urge Congress to pass net neutrality legislation once and for all.” But none of them seem to want to get their hands dirty in the fight for or against net neutrality regulations when it comes to testifying before Congress.

Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn told Recode, “I think it would be appropriate, I think it is expected, for the tech companies to choose to show up — to have the discussion — and I don’t think it’s a discussion they want to be absent from.”

The CEOs could be concerned about having a net neutrality conversation with Congress or they could be worried about what other questions might come up. But regardless of what’s causing their hesitation, the hearing is scheduled for September 7th. If they want their opinions on the table, they might want to choose to attend, because decisions could be made without them. “We’re very likely to see something with net neutrality take place this Congress,” Blackburn told Recode. “Congress needs to act, so therefore we’re going to do something about it.”

Verizon owns Engadget’s parent company, Oath (formerly AOL). Rest assured, Verizon has no control over our coverage. Engadget remains editorially independent.



Kriti Sanon was body shamed by this Bollywood actress

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Kriti Sanon was body shamed by this Bollywood actress

Kriti Sanon who is busy with the promotions of her film Bareilly ki Barfi alongside Ayushmann Khurrana and Rajkummar Rao was the victim of body shaming this time.

Recently Kriti Sanon shared a video where she was grooving on ‘Hawa Hawa’ from Arjun Kapoor’s Mubarakan. After Kriti Sanon shared the video, Kamaal R Khan, as usual, left his expert comment on the same by saying, “Ye Dekho Kiriti Bechari, Raabta Ke flop Hone Ke Baad, mentally disturb Ho Gayee hai!”

The Hate Story actress Bhairavi Goswami responded to KRK’s tweet by body shaming Kriti Sanon. She wrote, “she is really behaving like a deranged woman. How did she become an actress. No headlight, no bumper. Even college students look better.” Kriti is yet to respond to this.

Priyanka Chopra talks about her Hollywood sitcom on Madhuri Dixits life

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Priyanka Chopra talks about her Hollywood sitcom on Madhuri Dixit's life

Sri Rao, an American screenwriter had always dreamt of writing for a Bollywood project. He got his first break with the English TV series, What Goes On, in 2007.

Sri Rao wrote a comedy show inspired by Madhuri Dixit and her life in the US post marriage which he took to Priyanka Chopra, who was looking for good scripts to produce. And that’s how collaboration happened between the two.

Speaking to a leading daily, Pee Cee exulted, “It’s unchartered territory for me but I’m happy I’ve taken another step in my creative journey as a producer.”

“It’s a fun concept and will be shot as a single-camera sitcom which will blend comedic and dramatic elements. I’ve only just begun developing the pilot but am rolling up my sleeves and getting to work,” she laughed adding that she completed her second Hollywood film, in which she played a single mom.  “Sri is fabulous and this is his series, I’m only shepherding it,” she continued.

HP brought a trippy tech museum to a music fest

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It was a blazing hot summer’s day, but inside a pitch black room in HP’s “The Lab” at the Panorama music festival in New York, I got the chills. I was experiencing Right Passage, one of seven art installations hosted at a gallery set up by the company, which sponsored the festival. Right Passage was by far my favorite — it’s a spectacle that captured my imagination without inundating me with the “tech” of it all.

Gallery: HP at Panorama NYC | 15 Photos

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Most of the installations at The Lab were visually arresting and interactive structures that presented excellent selfie ops. But after a series of those works, walking into the dark, blacked-out room that housed Right Passage was disorienting. I felt apprehensive but excited, like I had walked into a haunted house. Moments later, rays of light shot out of a distant crevice, and I got slightly worried I had been abducted by aliens. Those of us in the area were drawn to it. But it was quickly obscured, and I noticed a stoic, expressionless woman standing in front of me. Without a word, she walked over to the side and pushed a large wall-like structure into the middle of the room.

Behind her, two other people did the same thing, splitting the room up into four smaller and almost claustrophobic sections. Lights continued to flash, the “walls” kept rearranging, synced to the throbbing music overhead. It was confusing, chaotic, and yet fascinating. After awhile, the people moving the panels started to dance in a slow, trance-like state; it was like interactive theatre meeting modern dance in a futuristic art museum. My fellow festival goers were just as absorbed, ooh-ing and ahh-ing aloud. Not once did I see an HP logo or feel like this was an orchestrated marketing stunt (even though, let’s be real, that’s exactly what it was).

At The Lab, branding is kept to a minimal. “We want to power the experiences; We don’t have to be the experience,” HP’s PR manager Conor Driscoll said. You’ll still see placards at each exhibit’s entrance, explaining what HP products were used to create it, but otherwise the pieces are left to speak for themselves. That’s a smart move on HP’s part, and the whole event itself is a clever marketing tactic. Although the company is far from being a “cool” brand the way Snapchat and Instagram are, it is so far one of the few PC makers to reach out to the ever-important millennial audience on their turf. You don’t see rivals like ASUS, Lenovo, Acer and Dell going to music festivals and engaging people the way HP has.

This isn’t the first time HP has used an unconventional, millennial-friendly event to reach a younger, savvier audience, either. The company also sponsored Panorama last year, and launched new laptops at Coachella this year. At both those festivals, HP also hosted similar exhibits to showcase works that blended art and technology.

As is usually the case when artists create with tech, the strongest works are the ones that don’t focus on the gadgets behind the product. Some of the displays at Panorama managed to do that, delivering transportational experiences with technological subtlety, including Right Passage and short film The Ark. The latter is presented in a dome-shaped theater, projected on the walls and ceilings for an audience that reclines on beanbag chairs. While Right Passage had me wondering if I had been kidnapped by aliens, The Ark straight up took me on an intergalactic adventure.

The film is an immersive, almost-360-degree animated ride through some very strange worlds — basically a trippy acid dream. Some people cheered, some whooped, and many gasped as we “fell” into a chasm that turned into a tube entering a spaceship. I was amused when I noticed some folks make beelines for the best seats in the house (in the middle of the room). It’s as if they knew what to expect, perhaps from attending a previous HP-hosted screening.

I was most surprised by the immense number of people lining up for one of HP’s demos — the “bandana inking station.” There, attendees could design and print their own free bandanas using one of HP’s recently launched laptops. This shows just how well HP understands what people at these events want — air-conditioning, picture-perfect staging and free swag.

Literally 🔥 🔥🔥🔥 #selfie #queen #PanoramaHP

A post shared by Cherlynn Low (@cherlynnstagram) on

HP did two things right at the event this year. It gave people mementos — whether it was a free bandana or a cool selfie video — that they could share or take home from the festival. It also offered engaging experiences that managed to avoid coming off as aggressive PR stunts. Of course, the entire tents were covered in HP logos, but once you’re immersed in the actual art, the advertising melts away. It’s a shrewd move that puts the company ahead of its relatively old-fashioned competitors for now. HP could have simply thrown money at the festival’s organizers in exchange for a “Sponsored by” logo on the event’s website and banners, but it participated in a more meaningful way. Doing so may not generate immediate returns for HP, but if it continues to work on its image with the creative crowd, it may see immense benefits in future.



20 Bollywood movies based on true stories

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20 Bollywood movies based on true stories

Real life incidents have always provided enough material for movie makers and writers to create masterpieces on the silver screen. Recently movie makers have been feasting their eyes on biopics like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Airlift, Mary Kom, etc.

It is said that movies are often inspired by real-life events and everyday incidents; well here is a look at some films that are based on “true stories”.


Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is one of the most interesting biopics ever made in Bollywood. It is based on the life of Milkha Singh aka The Flying Sikh. Farhan Akhtar played the role of Milkha Singh and he did complete justice to the character by showing his amazing acting skills. Farhan Akhtar painstakingly transformed himself to portray the life of Milkha Singh and the actor believes the story needed to be told as it takes about a real hero.

The movie narrates the ups and downs of the legendary athlete of India. The film starts in the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, where a coach says “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”.  Milkha begins to run but loses as he glanced back when he nears the end of the race. In a flashback then the story goes back to his childhood where the Indo-Pak partition caused chaos which resulted in war.  In Pakistan, he misses the press conference and goes to his village where in a flashback it is shown how his parents were murdered and the last words of his father were “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag!” In the games, the Pakistani favorite is winning, when Milkha puts on speed, overtaking opponents one by one, takes a convincing lead and wins the race and respect of both the nations’ peoples. The Pakistani Chief of Army, Gen. Ayub Khan then gives him the title “The Flying Sikh”.


Mary Kom

Though this one is not as successful a project as Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Mary Kom was a good effort from Omung Kumar a.k.a OK. The movie was rather pictured as a documentary, without many dramatic elements. However, the film grossed well on box office and Indian audience appreciated Priyanka Chopra’s performance.

The film is basically a chronicle of the life of Indian boxer Mary Kom, who went through several hardships before audaciously accomplishing her ultimate dream. The movie shows how young Mary Kom aspires to win a World Boxing Championship and faces several obstacles. Despite her father’s disapproval, Kom never gives up. Due to her dedication and stubbornness, she wins the 2006 Women’s World Amateur Boxing Championship. Kom gives birth to twins and applies to a government job where she gets rejected. Thereafter she joins a gym again leaving her husband to look after the twins. Later, she is given the nickname “Magnificent Mary”. The film ends with the Indian flag waving and the Indian National Anthem playing in the background.



Guru is a biopic telling the story of India’s self-made business tycoon Dhirubhai Ambani. Abhishek Bachchan unmistakably portrayed the role of an industrialist, who, with his business acumen and tactics, quickly became a successful businessman. Guru was directed by Mani Ratnam.

The movie begins in a small village of Gujarat where a young man named Gurukant “Guru” Desai dreams of making it big someday. Guru goes to Turkey in order enter the spice market but rather he decides to work for himself. The later Guru goes to Mumbai along with his wife and her brother and starts trading in cloth. He expands his business gradually and sets up manufacturing units of his own, under the name “Shakti Corporation”. As times passed, guru’s business tactics and skills helped him to grow it into one of the largest in India.


Special 26
Special 26 was based on 1987 Opera House heist done by a con man, who produced himself as CBI official. The case is still unresolved as police failed to find any trail of the fraudster. Akshay Kumar played the lead role, while Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill, Rajesh Sharma, Kishor Kadam, and Divya Dutta were cast as Kumar’s accomplices in heists. The movie was directed by Neeraja Pandey.

The story begins with a fake walk-in CBI interview that was held by Ajay Singh (Akshay Kumar) and P.K. Sharma (Anupam Kher). They successfully raid at wealthy and rich minister’s houses posing as CBI and income tax officials. Ajay’s love interest, Priya (Kajal Aggarwal), an about-to-be-married teacher, is introduced here. CBI officer Waseem Khan is preparing to capture the fake CBI officials red handed as they get an inside information that a raid will be conducted at a jewelry shop. The film ends with Khan being told over the phone that the CBI has information about the perpetrators. At the same time, we see Ajay Singh and P.K. Sharma enjoying a cricket match happily, at the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium with their wives, Joginder, and Iqbal.


The Dirty Picture
It was Vidya Balan, who pulled the crowd to multiplexes by portraying a South siren Silk Smitha. The movie portrays Vidya as an ultimate symbol of sensuality. In the movie, Silk romances with her three male counterparts. The movie tells the sad story of Silk Smitha, who started off as D-grade actress and soon got a chance to work as character artists.

The story begins with rebellious and uninhabited Reshma who lives an impoverished lifestyle with her mother, in South India. She is a fan of film actor Suryakant and she dreams of meeting her someday. She runs away and lines up outside Jupiter Studios to try and get noticed but gets ignored because of her next-door-girl looks. But eventually, she gets a chance to play a role that exploits her as a sex symbol, driving males to the cinema houses. Over night, Reshma, now renamed as Silk, becomes a sensation and sizzles the screen with actor Suryakant. Further many incidents bring even more changes in her life.


No One Killed Jessica

The story of this movie revolves around the murder of Jessica Lal, who was shot dead by Manu Sharma. The killer of Lal hailed from a high-profile family of Venod Sharma, who was a former minister of the national government. The protagonist of the movie was Rani Mukerji, who played a journalist. Vidya Balan was another leading lady of the movie playing the sister of Jessica Lal. The movie created much excitement among viewers.

Devastated Sabrina Lall, along with her parents, attends the Court when she was told that her sister, Jessica Lall, is shot dead by Manish Bhardwaj, the son of a Congress party member. Then an NDTV employee, Meera Gaity, known for being more of an activist than a journalist, takes an interest in this incident and uncovers conspiracy and corruption that led to a near India-wide protest.



The movie narrates the battle between India and Pakistan, when the latter launched her Infantry against India at Longewala, Rajasthan in 1971. This was the first Bollywood film in which Pakistan was openly addressed as a belligerent nation; before Border, no war drama of Bollywood dared to call Pakistan as an enemy of India.

In the year 1971, the Indian army has been sent to a deserted place in Longewala region in Punjab to war with the Pakistani Army. While the Indian army only consists of a battalion of 120 soldiers and war jets, the Pakistani army had a battalion of over 2000 soldiers with war tanks, arms, and ammunition. While there the Indian soldiers recounted tales of their friends and loved ones at a long-lost war that lasted an entire evening with many soldiers losing their lives and not one could tell a tale about the deadly night.


Paan Singh Tomar

Paan Singh Tomar is a story of an Indian soldier, who later became a dacoit. The film flawlessly describes the predicament of a soldier, who rose to the fame as an athlete and then turned dacoit only to be gunned down by the police. The movie was directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia and the titular role was played impeccably by Irrfan Khan.

Paan Singh Tomar, a dacoit is in news for killing 9 people of a community. In flashback, Paan Singh is shown working in Army where he used to surprise his seniors with his athletic skills. He retires from the army to settle some family disputes where his relative Bhargav Singh and his goons try to kill him. As a revenge, he murders Bhargav Singh after gaining enough power and money. Further many incidents dramatically affect his life.


Once Upon A Time In Mumbai

This film showed how the underworld grew stronger in Mumbai from drugging and other wrong activities. It is directed by Milan Lutharia and casts Ajay Devgan, Emraan Hashmi, Prachi Desai, Kangana Ranaut and Randeep Huda. Its characters were in exactly motivated by criminals Haji Mastan and Dawood Ibrahim.

The movie starts with Assistant Commissioner of police, Angel Wilson, narrated to the commissioner as to how he commenced his investigation against an underworld gangster, Sultan Mirza.  Agnel’s attempts to rein in Sultan fail, but he keeps tabs on him and his romance with Bollywood actress, Rehana and his new recruit, Shoaib. Agnel will find his investigation slipping out of his hands after Sultan delegates complete responsibility to Shoaib.


Gulaab Gang

This is an Indian Drama film based on true story of a Gulabi Gang of Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh that was led by Sampat Pal Devi. The gang came into existence because of the domestic violence and savagery against the ladies in their homes. The story was then grabbed by Soumik Sen and made into a motion picture. It had Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla in the lead roles.

Rajjo has created an ashram for girls and women. The youngest students are taught to read. The adults are given a chance for employment, grounding spices, weaving pink saris and when necessary picking up weapons to fight social injustices. Rajjo and her rose-hued gang members are asked to back Sumitra Bagrecha, a politician whose grand promises inspire hope in Rajjo. But when Sumitra reveals her greedy nature, the Gulaab Gang become her worse enemy.



The film is based on the 2002 Gujarat riots that changed lives and everyday activities of individuals in the state. This movie claims to have a thousand true stories and the encounters that took place amongst the mobs. You will be so touched upon seeing the same, if the movie was like this, imagine the reality people actually faced. This was the first movie directed by Nandita Das. She very precisely chose her casts that included Naseeruddin Shah, Deepti Naval, and Paresh Rawal.

After the riots in Gujarat, Arati felt guilty for not opening her door to an injured Muslim woman. Her husband, Sanjay, had looted merchandise from shops, where as his brother Devan had even sexually molested Muslim women. Mohsin, a young lad, runs away from an army-guarded camp to find his father. Sameer Shaikh and his Hindu wife, Anuradha decide to re-locate to Delhi. Whereas Munira suspects her Hindu friend, Jyoti, of setting the house on fire, while police officers continue oppressing Muslims.


Madras Café
The Sri Lankan civil war and assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is what lead in making the political thriller Madras Cafe. Directed by Shoojit Sircar, the film cast John Abraham, Leena Paul and Nargis Fakhri in the leading roles. This movie tells us how the Indian political history changed and how plans were made for the assassination, which could have been foiled if bureaucratic intricacies had not tangled the case.

The film, set in India and Sri Lanka, is a political spy thriller set against the backdrop of the Sri Lankan civil war. Vikram Singh (John Abraham) is an Indian Army special officer who is appointed by the intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing to conduct covert operations in Sri Lanka shortly after Indian Peace Keeping Force was forced to withdraw. As he journeys to Sri Lanka, with the intention of disrupting a rebel group, he discovers the larger issue. There he meets a British journalist (Jaya) who wants to reveal the truth about the civil war, and in the process, he uncovers a conspiracy.



Airlift is a 2016 Indian war thriller film directed by Raja Krishna Menon. It features Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur in the lead roles. Menon was encouraged to make this movie after he completely studied the war details that were available. The film takes after Ranjit Katyal (Akshay Kumar), a Kuwait-based businessman who gets what he wants but at the time of war, he sees that his own money cannot bring him safety. He alone plans on a common operation to contact the Indian Embassy and ask for help to get hundreds of Indian people back to India from Kuwait amid the war zone.

It is a story of relentless courage of a single man to help the others and join all ends to make it happen. Over 59 days, the Indian government systematically flew over 488 Air India commercial flights into a war zone to evacuate and safely bring them back home. The movie is an uplifting and entertaining edge-of-the-seat thriller and is the story of biggest ever human evacuation in the history of mankind.


Shoot Out at Lokhandwala

This is an Indian crime film where Vivek Oberoi plays the dreaded gangster’s role of Maya Dolas. He along with his teams hides in a complex in Lokhandwala and ATS head plans and decides to attack there with 400 armed officers. It is a motion picture in light of the genuine shoot out of criminal Maya Dolas by ACP A.A. Khan.

Around 286 policemen headed by ACP Khan took strategic positions around a building where five criminals including Maya Dolas were counting cash in flat no. 32 B. Later the whole nation witnessed a daylight encounter that lasted for 6 hours, which transformed the suburban Mumbai into a virtual war zone. Maya and Dilip both became the talk of the town in the early 90s as they dared to disobey the big bhai of the underworld which drew the attention of ACP Khan and his ATS squad.


The attacks of 26/11

The attacks of 26/11 are something no one can forget. Today also we hear of it and we can feel goosebumps and anger. This movie was directed by Ram Gopal Varma. You get to see how the actual incident of the brutal killing and bomb blast took place that left the entire country shock stricken. One terrorist was arrested alive – Ajmal Kasab. Nana Patekar plays the role of the Joint Commissioner of Police. The movie gives you an insight of the Mumbai attacks when 9 trained terrorists held Mumbai hostage for 60 hours causing terror. The film revolves mainly around the character Ajmal Kasab, the moment he entered into a hijacked boat till the moment he was hanged in Pune’s jail.


Bandit Queen

Bandit Queen is based on the life of Phoolan Devi. Shekhar Kapoor directed the movie where Seema Biswas played the role of Bandit Queen. It showed the life of Phulan Devi who was married at a very young age, molested and had many hardships in life. She runs back home but stills face the problems and is then forced to leave the village and join a group of dacoits. As a bandit, she takes her place beside men in a society that refuses to believe a woman is capable of such a thing. The movie won National Film Award for best feature in Hindi and is a must watch.


Manjhi- The Mountain Man

Manjhi- The Mountain Man released in 2015 is a biographical movie based on the life of Dashrath Manjhi. Ketan Mehta directed the movie. Dashrath Manjhi was a poor laborer in Gehalur, a small village in Bihar. Manjhi was encouraged to carve a road through mountain after his wife fell from the mountain and died while she was bringing food for him. Dashrath decided to carve out a path through the mountain so that no one else would suffer his fate. All by himself for 22 years, with just hammer and chisel, he hammered away at the rocks, till the path was carved out of the mountain.



Neerja is a biographical thriller based on a plane hijack in Karachi, Pakistan on 5th September 1986 and the role Neerja Bhanot played to save the passengers. This film demonstrates how the youthful flight orderly battled for the lives of her travelers. The brave and bold girl who managed to save almost all the passengers giving up her life for it. She was a girl with beauty and brains. The film was directed by Ram Madhvani and stars Sonam Kapoor as the lead character.


Black Friday

Black Friday is a crime movie directed by Anurag Kashyap which is based on Hussain Zaidi’s book “Black Friday – The true story of the Bombay Bomb Blasts”. The movie is about the 1993 Bombay Bomb blasts which killed around 1500 people. It displays how DCP Rakesh Maria led an investigation to track down the suspects of the blasts. After the blast, the accomplices in the crime are forced to lead a life of anonymity and secrecy as it becomes evident that Mumbai police have started picking up the suspects one by one.


Shoot Out at Wadala

Shoot Out at Wadala is a sequel of the 2007 movie Shoot Out at Lokhandwala and is based on Hussain Zaidi’s book ‘Dongri to Dubai”. The film dramatizes the first-ever registered encounter by Mumbai police, where gangster Manya Surve was shot dead.

Surve who was a well-to-do college student was held accountable for the crimes his brother committed for which he undergoes a very abrupt and unrealistic development as a character. From a nice guy to a power hungry driven gangster, we could see how his character takes a shift. 

Shahid Kapoor says heâd gone mad after watching Bajirao Mastani

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Shahid Kapoor says he’d gone mad after watching Bajirao Mastani

Shahid Kapoor is currently busy shooting for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s next big film, Padmavati along side Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone. The film is all set to release in November this year. 

Speaking about the film and working with the ace director SLB, Shahid said, “It’s an intense, romantic and a very looked-forward-to film for various reasons. I think it’s a labour of love of Bhansali. I had gone mad on Twitter after watching his last film Bajirao Mastani, appreciating everyone, and didn’t know I’d be part of his next film. It’s awesome to be working with someone whose work I have admired and loved, especially in the recent past. It is a great cast and going to be a huge film. I am really excited, but I want to underplay it, so I am trying to do that right now.”

Adding further the actor said, “I hope when people see the film, they realise that the heart of the film and intent of the film is very good. This country and the people who live in it, and specially the area we are talking about in the film, will be glorified and shown beautifully. I play a Rajput king and my character, I feel, will be admired by people.”

FCC says sharing DDoS attack details undermines security

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Aaron Bernstein / Reuters

Back in May, HBO’s John Oliver exhorted viewers to add their public comment on the FCC’s website for net neutrality. While at first it seemed as if the server couldn’t handle the extra load of commenters, the FCC said that the site had been a victim of multiple distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. When asked for evidence of the cyberattack by regulators, senators and journalists, the FCC refused to share any data.

Last month, a group of ranking House committee members sent a letter to the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, which expressed concerns about the agency’s “cybersecurity preparedness, and the multiple reported problems with the FCC’s website in taking public comments in the net neutrality proceeding.” Pai’s response — dated July 21st and posted on July 28th — was predictably vague in responding to the specific queries from the Representatives. He said “it would undermine our system’s security to provide a specific roadmap of the additional solutions to which we have referred.”

Pai doubled-down on the reasoning in response to requests for what specific hardware solutions were in place, saying, “While it would undermine our system security to provide a specific roadmap of what we are doing, we can state that FCC IT staff has notified its cloud providers of the need to have sufficient ‘hardware resources’ available to accommodate high-profile proceedings.”

As noted by Ars Technica, the FCC has refused to respond to several Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) requests around the DDoS attacks. The Commission has also denied reports that it didn’t even document the event, confusing matters further. In the current letter, Pai asks the House members to trust that everything is now under control, since things seem to be working. “The docket now contains more than 10 million comments overall, demonstrating that our processes are facilitating widespread public participation in this proceeding,” he wrote. “Although I cannot guarantee that we will not experience further attempts to disrupt our systems, our staff is constantly monitoring and reviewing the situation so that that everyone seeking to comment on our proceedings will be afforded the opportunity to do so.”